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Poor Unfortunate Soul: A Tale of the Sea Witch

(Villains #3)

3.57  ·  Rating details ·  7,896 ratings  ·  985 reviews
The third novel in Serena Valentino's (Fairest of All, Beast Within) "VILLAINS" trilogy, featuring the story of the Little Mermaid from the perspective of the sea witch Ursula.
Hardcover, 196 pages
Published July 26th 2016 by Disney Press
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Mandy Smith The lady at Barnes and Noble said they were stand alone books, so I purchased and read Poor Unfortunate Soul and was SO LOST, I didn't understand why …moreThe lady at Barnes and Noble said they were stand alone books, so I purchased and read Poor Unfortunate Soul and was SO LOST, I didn't understand why I was being told certain things...where other people fit...etc. It seemed as though the author assumed I knew other things.

So...I realized I was supposed to read them in order lol, I've just purchased the first book, and it'll be here soon...hopefully it'll shed light to some of what I read in book #3!(less)
Maleficent by Elizabeth RudnickFairest of All by Serena ValentinoThe Beast Within by Serena ValentinoBeauty and the Beast by Jennifer DonnellyA Frozen Heart by Elizabeth Rudnick
Disney Novels
121 books — 29 voters
Deep Blue by Jennifer DonnellyPoor Unfortunate Soul by Serena ValentinoThe Siren by Kiera CassOf Poseidon by Anna BanksOf Triton by Anna Banks
Under the Sea
77 books — 8 voters

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Average rating 3.57  · 
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 ·  7,896 ratings  ·  985 reviews

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Jul 29, 2016 rated it did not like it
A bit disappointed. Not entirely what I expected. Plus, the story was not centered around Ursula. I was hoping to get an insight on this famous Disney Villain; however, I still feel like I know nothing about her.
Darth J
Mar 30, 2016 marked it as to-read

I admit that in the past I've been a nasty
They weren't kidding when they called me, well, a witch

Move over Maleficent, 2016 looks to be Ursula's year. Not only is she getting her own Lego, but she's also getting her own book.

And I fortunately know a little magic
It's a talent that I always have possessed
And here lately, please don't laugh,
I use it on behalf
of the miserable, lonely and depressed

Poor unfortunate souls
In pain, in need
This one longing to be thinner
That one wants to get the
Dannii Elle
This is the third instalment in the Villains series, which rework the original tales from the initial villain's perspective.

This focuses on the infamous Ursula from the story of The Little Mermaid. I found this story the most vastly different to the original. There were some elements that remained and this still did coincide with its predecessor but, instead, focused on alternative facets that ran alongside the former story. I loved this individual take on the events that occurred and how the au
~The Bookish Redhead~
This is the second book that I've read by Valentino, and it was enjoyable, but not as good as I'd hoped it to be. I was hoping for more from Ursula really, instead of way too much focus on the three dreaded sisters. Princess Tulip was a rather odd character to include in this, as I thought she didn't really have a proper, solid place. It got kind of tedious on my end, and I found that my mind was wandering about halfway through the read.

I did enjoy Ursula and her backstory, as after reading it,
Mandy White
We all know and love the story of The Little Mermaid and her quest to become human. It is one of mine and my daughters favourite Disney story.

Poor Unfortunate Soul tells the story behind Ursula. Why is she is so angry and hateful? What has she got against Ariel to want to take everything away from her? In this book we find out. It has made her into an evil and twisted character but now you kind of feel a little sorry for her. We see the story unfold in its usual way but we also get the point of
Sara Dahabović
May 14, 2017 marked it as to-read
Shelves: ebooks
A story by Ursula??!! the villain from my all time favorite Disney movie The Little Mermaid?
count me in!
I've always loved URSULA and was amazed by her powers! she took Ariel's voice and store it in a shell *that gotta give her some points*

I hope this is the kind of story where Ursula is not the villain and that we get to see her perspective of the story *just like the Broadway show Wicked*


Jan 02, 2017 rated it did not like it
I don't think I have ever given a 1 star review on here before, but this book was so disappointing and poorly written, that I had no other choice. When I try and think about anything redeemable this book offered, I come up blank. To be fair, I had not read the first two books in the series, so I came in at the end of the story for the three odd sisters. At first I didn't find this to be a problem, but the more I realized this story is not actually about Ursula, and instead about the three witche ...more
Sep 03, 2016 rated it it was ok
I happen to be a big fan of Ursula. She is, thus far, my all time favorite Disney villain. Having admitted that, I recognize that I may have gone into this story with hopes raised too high. I expected something a little more unique and a little less borrowed. Only half the story is directly focused on the sea witch. The rest is some tangential plot of a princess Tulip and her witchy nanny? I don't know. Something to do with a continuing plot from the author's first two books, supposedly. Then, t ...more
Becky Ginther
I enjoyed the other two books in this series, but I have to say I was disappointed in this one. Rather than really focusing on the villain (Ursula) and delving into her backstory, the author chose to kind of branch off and create a sidestory pretty much unrelated to Ursula or The Little Mermaid. The strength of the other books was that it took a story we all know and love and put an interesting twist on it. This one only touched on the actual Little Mermaid story briefly. We got a glimpse into U ...more
Emm C²
Jan 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
"Hate. Her magic was infused with it. And in that hate was a deep, penetrating sorrow. Those humans had taken from her the only person who had loved her, and she was going to make them suffer."

The sea is a veritable breeding ground for tragedy, and this particular tragedy is a soft reimagining of The Little Mermaid from the villain, Ursula's, point of view. Well, partly from Ursula's point of view. Poor Unfortunate Soul tweaks the tale just enough, keeping most of the original story intact while
Mar 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fairytale, favorites
I just received this pretty book yesterday. What an amazing cover. It was well worth the wait, and then I've read the book in less than a day. Yes, I received it yesterday and I've finished this morning, before going to work.
I need more books in this series. There's no way that this is the end... I need other villains, so get to work, Serena! Read: Maleficent, Medusa, Yzma...
I love me a good villain story. And in my honest opinion, it's the best one so far.
Erin Shirely
Mar 10, 2019 rated it did not like it
Straight. Trash.
Jan 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
4 stars!
Emerald Sue
“Well, well, my dear. Are we so brokenhearted as that? Is the loss of that terrible prince really worth your life?”
Sebastiaan Torenhof
Missed Chance.
I had really high hopes for a book about my favourite Disney Villain, but boy was I dissapointed. I don't understand how this got published, I thought Disney had higher standards.
The story is incoherent and makes a lot of unclear and unnecessary references to other characters (presumably from the other two books in the series) and it focuses more on other characters than on our favourite Seawitch.
The book is dedicated to the authors dead cat, that's ok, but to make that dead cat o
I wish Poor Unfortunate Soul had been more Ursula focused and less on other characters. Obviously her feud with her brother King Triton should have been a big part of the story, but honestly the inclusion of the "three dreaded sisters" and Princess Tulip was lost on me and kind of annoying. 3/5

UPDATE: I just read that this is a series of books not stand alone books on each villain. I am keeping my 3 star rating however because this is not communicated at all on the book itself.
Apr 26, 2017 rated it liked it
Really fun! However, I think I need to read the other two. There are some unanswered questions at the end of this book. I didn't realize the books were connected.
Sarah Churchill
Depsite there being three smilies on the first page alone, the writing got better and I really got into it. Much better than I expected in all honesty. Runs alongside the Little Mermaid movie from Ursula's point of view, as well as some other characters involved in the story that we've never met. It's not going to win any awards, but it does what it promises. I think you need to know the original well, and if you love that enough then you're going to have to read this POV.
Mariah Roze
Dec 08, 2019 rated it liked it
I have been wanting to read this book for a while, so I'm really glad I did.

"The third novel in Serena Valentino's (Fairest of All, Beast Within) "VILLAINS" trilogy, featuring the story of the Little Mermaid from the perspective of the sea witch Ursula."
Sep 02, 2019 rated it liked it
I was hoping that this story would make Ursula more likable, or at least that I would come out of the pages with an understanding of her. If the story had ended at the halfway point, I would have *kind of* understood her side of the story. I kind of wish the story had ended with Ursula as the victim, rather than Ursula the kidnapper and backstabber. She was such a fabulously flamboyant character in the animated film, and I was always kind of rooting for her to be the misunderstood woman of the s ...more
Stefanie  (foreversweetserendipity)
A quick and interesting take on some of Ursula's back story as well as how all the magical kingdoms are intertwined. Simple and different. It could have been more in depth, but it was more of a lighthearted read without many layers. I definitely plan to read the next one.
“Well, well, my dear. Are we so brokenhearted as that? Is the loss of that terrible prince really worth your life?”

I love the cover. I loved the book. It makes me really want to re-watch The Little Mermaid.

Man, oh man, I do love villains. Ursula is probably my favorite villain but it could be because of her super freaking catchy songs.

I feel like all the books within this Villains series just keep getting better and better. Plus having all of these disney movies and being a total disney geek as
Nicole (TheBookWormDrinketh)
2.5 out of 5 stars

I had such high hopes for this one! It sounded fantastic. A “Wicked” style story of “The Little Mermaid” from Ursula’s perspective. YES, PLEASE!

Unfortunately, it fell a little short. There were characters I didn’t understand, Princess Tulip (who made no sense in the story, and held no part in pushing along the story of Ursula…. it was actually based more off her than Ursula!), and the Odd Sisters, who I also didn’t understand.

I wish that I had purchased this book in an e-format
Danni The Girl
Oct 14, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018-reading
This third book was just ok. It’s not entirely told from Ursula’s prospective. The three sisters feature in it again, I do like the fact that all these books are linked, but I felt with this story some of the characters didn’t need to be featured.
I wish it was focused more on Ursula and not the sisters or Princess Morningstar and Tulip. I did start getting confused with going back and forth as I’ve read a few books in between this one and the one before.

I thought the opening of the book was re
May 16, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I'm a poor, unfortunate soul because I feel like I didn't find out much about Ursula despite her face on the cover. Her villain backstory fell a bit flat and was rushed too. There were too many other things going on and the Odd Sisters appearing in every book is getting to be too intrusive and repetitive. I've had enough of this series now. Honestly, the only reason I finished this book was so I could complete some reading challenges.
Sophie Crane
Apr 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I love this book series so far, have read the evil queen, the beast within, and now Poor unfortunate soul. The books are very good and enjoyable.

I do have to say this one was a little different and unique being this book had a lot more Stories goin on in this book instead of just dealing with Ursula. It still held on to my attention and was a very good and enjoyable read. This book has 3 different stories going on all together at once, but all feeding into the main over all story. I feel it is t
What a wonderful angle to have a retelling from.
Fast and fun read.
Mandy (Bookishlove85)
Another installment in this series that I very much enjoyed. I did feel like there were some plot holes that either I missed completely or that were left out. But overall a good read! Excited to finally get to the Dark Fairy that we’ve been building up to. My fave “villain” indeed.
Jennifer Girard

I didn't know it was a real series so I was a little bit confused by some of the story about the three sisters but it wasn't too bad.

I wished it was more about Ursula and less about the sisters but it's interesting to see how all the villains are related in some ways!
Jul 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
I am pleasantly surprised over how much I enjoyed this! While the first book about Snow White/evil queen is one of my favorite books ever, the second book about the Beast fell flat for me. I wasn't sure what to expect after the second book but this book was breathtaking! After finishing this book, I have decided that this is now one of my all time favorite series and probably would still be even if I didn't have a deep and undying love for Disney.

This book tells the story of the Little Mermaid
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Serena Valentino is best known for weaving tales that combine mythos and guile with her work on the comic book series GloomCookie and Nightmares & Fairy Tales, and her best selling Disney Villain Novels which have earned her critical acclaim for her unique style of storytelling, bringing her readers into exquisitely frightening worlds filled with terror, beauty and extraordinary female protagonist ...more

Other books in the series

Villains (7 books)
  • Fairest of All: A Tale of the Wicked Queen
  • The Beast Within: A Tale of Beauty's Prince (Villains, #2)
  • Mistress of All Evil: A Tale of the Dark Fairy (Villains #4)
  • Mother Knows Best: A Tale of the Old Witch
  • The Odd Sisters: A Tale of the Three Witches
  • Evil Thing

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Contemporary young adult literature has often led the way in depicting the real-life issues facing teens from all backgrounds. To delve into ho...
47 likes · 3 comments
“The old queen had failed them so miserably... She was such a bitter disappointment. But Ursula was different. There was no one to distract her, no one for her to love. She was alone in the world, alone in her grief, and alone with her pain. No, she wouldn't disappoint them. Unlike the old queen, Ursula would be able to fill her heart with hate.” 3 likes
“We're not here to discuss Maleficent! Her story is too long and complicated to debate in the time we have left...” 2 likes
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